The Risks of Drinking DayQuil and Alcohol - Indiana Center for Recovery (2023)

The Risks of Drinking DayQuil and Alcohol - Indiana Center for Recovery (1)

Most ailments are treated with over-the-counter medications, yet people hardly give these any thought when taking them. Others show a certain amount of disregard and drink alcohol while taking their medications, while some people use caution and only drink water. Drinking alcohol can already be hazardous, but for those who mix alcohol and DayQuil, this is especially true.

If you are on the road to addiction treatment or unable to stop drinking while treating a flu or cold, start care at the Indiana Center for Recovery.

Dayquil Flu and Cold

Cold and flu symptoms can be treated with Dayquil Cold and Flu, often known as Dayquil. It functions as a flu remedy. Dayquil Cold and Flu, an over-the-counter (OTC) drug, contains the flu treatments acetaminophen, dextromethorphan, and phenylephrine. Dextromethorphan suppresses coughing (cough suppressant), phenylephrine decongests, and acetaminophen reduces fever and pain. But carefully read the medication label because different Dayquil formulations have other active ingredients.

When suffering from the flu or a cold, stay away from alcohol. Drinking too much alcohol dehydrates the body and impairs the immune system. Some people with the flu or a cold may still want to drink while taking Dayquil. Several essential aspects must be considered before combining the two over-the-counter drugs.

Is it Dangerous to Combine DayQuil with Alcohol?

Widely used over-the-counter drug Vicks DayQuil is used to treat cold and flu symptoms like coughing, mild aches and pains, sore throat, sneezing, fever, headache, and headache.

DayQuil includes the decongestants phenylephrine and dextromethorphan, as well as the analgesic and antipyretic acetaminophen. Each component may have a different and occasionally convoluted response to alcohol, depending on who consumes it.

This is why discussing potential drug interactions between particular prescription flu medications and other substances, including alcohol, with a doctor is always a good idea. The safer option would be to keep DayQuil away from possibly reactive things like alcohol and other medications.

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After Taking DayQuil, Can I Drink?

Avoid swallowing chemicals that might hurt the body, as previously said. Depending on the person, an alcoholic beverage can stay in the body for at least three hours. Anything ingested during this period could cause the body’s alcohol dependence to react.

The effects of DayQuil, on the other hand, may last from four to six hours, depending on the person. The DayQuil already present in the body may interact with any other medications taken at this time. Everyone has a different threshold. Thus there is no set time frame for when it is “safe” to drink alcohol after taking DayQuil or vice versa.

Can You Drink Alcohol While Taking Cold Medicine?

Depending on their prescription, people frequently report feeling tired, lightheaded, and, to some extent, having difficulty typing. These effects could be considerably increased if alcohol and cold medications are taken together.

Dextromethorphan, an antihistamine included in DayQuil, can cause respiratory depression and heavy sedation when consumed with alcohol. Someone could be entirely unconscious, have dangerously slow respiration, and eventually die.

Risks of Taking DayQuil and Alcohol Together

There is always a chance of injury when two potent medications combine within the body. No matter a person’s tolerance or threshold, the harm might be severe or life-threatening and appear immediately or later. This is primarily because of compounding consequences.

The nature and severity of the reaction may depend on the individual and the particular elements of the drug taken with alcohol. In addition, Studies have shown that combining alcohol and acetaminophen can potentially injure the liver. Despite being rare, the harm could be severe or even life-threatening.

Combining alcohol with phenylephrine may result in varying degrees of confusion, faintness, dizziness, respiratory issues, and loss of balance. These two over-the-counter drugs have even caused people to resist being awakened. An increased risk of liver damage and kidney disease in older persons has been suggested by recent studies on the interactions between acetaminophen and alcohol.

The hazards associated with combining DayQuil with these active components outweigh any tolerance a person may have to the effects of other medications interacting in the body. Dayquil contains dangerous amounts. Hence, it shouldn’t be used with alcohol for several reasons:

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  • Alcohol and dextromethorphan, and acetaminophen interact.
  • Dayquil doses and alcohol combine poorly.
  • Acetaminophen and alcohol harm the liver in significant quantities (liver failure).
  • Individuals may be more likely to overdose if they combine the two drugs.

Liver Damage Risks

The maximum amount of acetaminophen per day that the Food and Drug Administration recommends is 3,000 mg. The maximum daily intake is lower if a person drinks alcohol (alcoholic beverages). Each Dayquil LiquiCap has 325 mg of acetaminophen, compared to 650 mg in syrup. The manufacturer cautions that the potential for severe liver issues in the following situations:

  • More than four Dayquil dosages in a single day
  • Dayquil and other acetaminophen-containing medications brought together.
  • Drink three or more alcoholic beverages daily while taking Dayquil.

Risks Associated with Acetaminophen or Dextromethorphan

Since acetaminophen overdose is a known issue, always take Dayquil at the suggested dosage. Be aware that numerous over-the-counter and prescription drugs include acetaminophen. A person should consult a doctor or pharmacist before taking Dayquil if they consume alcohol.

Like acetaminophen, dextromethorphan and alcohol are dangerous and can lead to an overdose. Dextromethorphan at high doses can be used recreationally to make some people feel euphoric. However, there have been reports of unfavorable side effects such as delusions, psychosis, and hallucinations. These effects may be made worse by alcohol.

DayQuil and Alcohol Combinations Create Complications

The numerous harmful effects alcohol has on the body, such as neurological diseases that induce sudden, unpredictable changes in mood and personality. Other effects include:

  • Decreased amount of spatial awareness
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Arrhythmia
  • Hypertension
  • Stroke
  • Drinking and liver disease
  • Liver fibrosis
  • Cirrhosis
  • Cancer Pancreatitis
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Body pains

The probability of having one or more of these issues is significantly increased when excessive alcohol use is paired with substance usage. Given DayQuil’s narcotic effect, which commonly causes feelings of exhaustion and profound relaxation, some people may find that mixing it with alcohol produces an even more pleasurable experience.

Effects of Alcohol Consumption with Dayquil

When taken as directed, Dayquil can have adverse side effects such as nausea, upset stomach, anxiety, migraines, and severe liver damage (because of the acetaminophen). Alcohol use in excess can increase the likelihood of an overdose and intensify the common severe, hazardous adverse effects of Dayquil.

The primary cause of the psychotic significant side effects is dextromethorphan, although vomiting, elevated blood pressure, and stomach discomfort may be symptoms of an acute acetaminophen overdose. It’s critical to remember that excessive acetaminophen use over time might cause liver damage (liver problems may worsen) without manifesting any noticeable side effects.

Higher amounts of both alcohol and Dayquil can be fatal. You should seek emergency medical assistance if you think taking Dayquil while drinking alcohol may have led to an overdose. According to one study, having one medical issue increases your likelihood of developing another.

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DayQuil Withdrawal Symptoms

Dextromethorphan, one of DayQuil’s main ingredients, is remarkable in that, depending on the dosage, it can have opposing effects. Low doses have energizing effects, while higher doses have sedative effects.

Even larger doses act as a dissociative hallucinogen, causing feelings of alienation. This impact is one of the elements influencing the adoption of dextromethorphan-containing over-the-counter medications as recreational drugs.

One of the many recreational drugs known to lead to full-blown drug addiction is DayQuil. DayQuil withdrawal cold symptoms that manifest during detox in our facility in Indiana Center for Recovery include:

  • Restlessness
  • Cold flashes, stomach aches, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Insomnia
  • A sore muscle
  • Clogged nose
  • Continent pain
  • Mood changes
  • Spasms of muscles

Treatment for Alcoholism when Using DayQuil

Every time a person abuses alcohol or drugs, they experience tremendous alteration. This typically manifests as a change in how people act, feel, and think. The changes may often be so significant that the person no longer resembles the person they were before succumbing to substance abuse. Dayquil and alcohol addiction therapy address these changes.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)

Given that they lack the drive to stop abusing alcohol or drugs, it is essential to talk to the patient about how they see right and wrong and how they react to each decision.

This behavior needs to be altered because they frequently use drugs or alcohol to cope with stress and problems. Alcohol use disorder is replaced with new habits that won’t hurt them as a legitimate response to stress and obstacles. Their coping processes are improved through cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

Self-harm, which includes substance misuse, is triggered by specific situations. Even while some people tend to protect themselves from pain, including the harm they do, they may be susceptible to an emotional overload that prevents them from being able to defend themselves.

Many people frequently turn to alcohol and drugs when burdened with negative emotions, deadening their ability to think and feel. Dialectical behavior therapy increases people’s ability to manage emotional overload, enhances their capacity to assess their situation, and helps them develop non-self-destructive alternatives. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, almost half of all Americans with a mental illness also experience a substance use disorder (SUD) at some point in their lives (NIDA).

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Patients can experience the full range of their health inside the facility with inpatient drug rehab, also referred to as residential therapy. We are committed to providing treatment for ladies with serious chemical dependency addiction at Indiana Center for Recovery.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you drink alcohol while on DayQuil?

DayQuil’s manufacturer, Procter & Gamble, cautions against drinking while taking it, especially if you regularly consume substantial amounts of alcohol or just one drink per day. One of the potentially dangerous side effects of combining alcohol and acetaminophen is fever. Aching or swelling in the joints.

How long after DayQuil Can I drink alcohol?

Even though drinking alcohol is not recommended while taking DayQuil, you can do so 4 to 6 hours after your last dose. However, alcohol can linger in your bloodstream for up to three hours with just one drink. It is better to wait three hours to prevent DayQuil overdose.

How long after taking DayQuil is it ok to drink alcohol?

Doctors don’t recommend drinking while taking DayQuil, but 4 to 6 hours after your last dose, most agree it is safer to consume. However, the effects of a single drink of alcohol might continue for around three hours. So, the ideal time to take another DayQuil dose is four hours after drinking.

Seek Help from Indiana Center for Recovery

Mixing DayQuil and alcohol is also a symptom of addiction to a substance if you feel you’ve “lost control.” If you are battling alcoholism, this is the right time to ask for help. Please call Indiana Center for Recovery addiction treatment programs immediately when you have any questions or wish to contact us.

High-quality alcohol detox and rehabilitation treatments are offered by Indiana center for Recovery licensed treatment facilities. Learn more about Indiana Center for Recovery programs by speaking with a caring staff member or medical professional.

Ask one of our qualified medical professionals for assistance. We are always available for our clients. Contact us at (844) 650-0064.


Is it safe to take DayQuil after drinking alcohol? ›

Cold medications containing dextromethorphan, which is present in DayQuil, could cause heavy sedation and respiratory depression when it mixes with alcohol in the body. This could knock a person out completely and also slow a person's breathing to dangerous levels, potentially even being lethal at some point.

What should you not mix with DayQuil? ›

Also, don't use DayQuil if you drink more than three alcoholic drinks per day. This combination can cause serious liver damage.
The acetaminophen in DayQuil can interact with the following drugs:
  • carbamazepine.
  • isoniazid.
  • phenobarbital.
  • phenytoin.
  • phenothiazines.
  • warfarin.

What happens if you take cold medicine after drinking alcohol? ›

You've probably seen this warning on medicines you've taken. The danger is real. Mixing alcohol with certain medications can cause nausea and vomiting, headaches, drowsiness, fainting, or loss of coordination. It also can put you at risk for internal bleeding, heart problems, and difficulties in breathing.

Why you shouldn't take DayQuil? ›

While DayQuil is considered safe if used as directed, it can cause nervousness, dizziness, or sleepiness in some and should be avoided in the following circumstances: DayQuil can cause liver damage in people who drink more than three alcoholic beverages per day.

How long does DayQuil stay in your system? ›

The dextromethorphan half-life is about 3 to 4 hours, meaning that dextromethorphan can stay in your system for about 6 to 8 hours.

When should you not take DayQuil? ›

Stop using Dayquil Cold and Flu and contact your provider if you experience any of the following: 1) pain, cough, or nasal congestion that gets worse or lasts more than 1 week; 2) fever that gets worse or lasts more than 3 days; 3) cough that comes back or occurs with a rash or headache; or 4) feel nervous, dizzy, or ...

How much alcohol does DayQuil have? ›

Q: Does DayQuil contain alcohol? A: No, DayQuil does not contain alcohol.

How long should I wait to drink alcohol after taking NyQuil? ›

Your body may need at least 24 hours to get rid of acetaminophen, especially if you've been taking it by itself in addition to NyQuil.

How many hours after taking cold medicine can you drink? ›

It's best to avoid alcohol until the drug has left your body, about 24 to 48 hours after your last dose. But that's not to say you should indulge in alcoholic drinks when sick–wait until you're feeling better before imbibing. And despite popular myths, alcohol won't do anything to suppress a cough.

Does cold medicine delay recovery? ›

But evidence that using drugs to reduce the fever prolongs flu or a cold is much less conclusive. Virtually every alternative and conventional medicine (with the exception of anti-virals for flu) appears to have no significant impact on a cold's duration.

What is an adverse reaction to DayQuil? ›

Dizziness, drowsiness, headache, nausea, nervousness, or trouble sleeping may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, contact your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Can I drink after taking DayQuil reddit? ›

Drinking Alcohol After Taking DayQuil

Although it's not recommended to drink while using DayQuil, you could have a drink 4 to 6 hours after your last dose. A single drink of alcohol, however, can last in your body for about 3 hours. Therefore, it's best to wait about 3 hours before taking another dose of DayQuil.

Can I take NyQuil after drinking? ›

As discussed, you should avoid mixing NyQuil and alcohol because of acetaminophen, which already contains alcohol. This can cause increased damage to the liver after some period of time.

Do you sleep with DayQuil? ›

The main difference is that DayQuil is a non-drowsy formula with the decongestant phenylephrine to help treat your cold or flu symptoms during the day, while many NyQuil products contain a sedating antihistamine and can help you sleep at night.

Can NyQuil make you test positive for alcohol? ›

Nyquil, Vicks products, and other cold medications contain alcohol. These and other alcohol-containing medicines may cause a breathalyzer test to show a false positive result. If you consumed a large number of cough drops before your breathalyzer test, it also could have skewed the test results.

Can I take cold medicine after a night of drinking? ›

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) warns against mixing alcohol with medicines. Alcohol can intensify the sedating effects of allergy, cold, and flu medicines and make it unsafe to perform certain tasks, such as driving. Alcohol may also increase the risk of overdose.

How much alcohol is in a shot of NyQuil? ›

A: You should not exceed four doses of NyQuil in a 24-hour period. Q: How much alcohol is in NyQuil? A: NyQuil Liquid contains 10 percent alcohol. NyQuil LiquiCaps does not contain alcohol.

Can I drink alcohol 4 hours after taking cough medicine? ›

Unfortunately, alcohol and cough syrup do not mix.

Combining cough syrup and alcohol can lead to increased dizziness and drowsiness and impair your coordination and driving.

Can I take NyQuil if I had a glass of wine? ›

Can I Mix NyQuil with Alcohol? Mixing alcohol and NyQuil may worsen side effects, such as dizziness and drowsiness. This effect is especially true for NyQuil products that have dextromethorphan and doxylamine. In severe cases, especially when you drink large amounts of alcohol, the combination may lead to liver damage.

What medication can you not drink alcohol with? ›

Medications that shouldn't be taken with alcohol
  • Pain medications. ...
  • Anxiety medications (Ativan, Xanax) and sleeping pills (Ambien, Lunesta) ...
  • Antidepressants and antipsychotics. ...
  • ADHD medications (Adderall, Ritalin) ...
  • Antibiotics (azithromycin, metronidazole) ...
  • Nitrates and blood pressure medications.
Nov 28, 2022

Can you take anything else with DayQuil? ›

It's usually safe to take Mucinex with Nyquil or Dayquil. But you should avoid taking Nyquil or Dayquil with Mucinex DM, since they all contain dextromethorphan. It's possible to take too much acetaminophen if you combine Tylenol with Nyquil or Dayquil.

Can you mix DayQuil with other medicine? ›

No, you should not take Sudafed with DayQuil. Sudafed (pseudoephedrine) is a decongestant. DayQuil contains phenylephrine, which is also a decongestant. You should not combine pseudoephedrine with phenylephrine or other decongestants.

Can you take Tylenol or ibuprofen with DayQuil? ›

Can I Take DayQuil and Ibuprofen at the Same Time? Because the active ingredients for pain (acetaminophen and ibuprofen itself) have different mechanisms of action, these two OTC meds are safe to take at the same time to reduce your cold or flu symptoms.

Can you mix Caffeine and DayQuil? ›

Notes for Consumers: Limit caffeine intake (examples: coffee, teas, colas, chocolate and some herbal supplements) while taking Phenylephrine. Also avoid medicines containing additional Caffeine whenever possible. Side effects from Phenylephrine may get worse if you take excessive Caffeine.

Does DayQuil have acetaminophen in it? ›

VICKS® DayQuil® COLD & FLU - Multi-Symptom Relief - Acetaminophen, Phenylephrine, Dextromethorphan - Aches, Fever & Sore Throat - Nasal Congestion - Cough - Non-Drowsy - Alcohol ...

Is there a difference between DayQuil and NyQuil? ›

DayQuil alleviates the same symptoms as NyQuil. DayQuil contains acetaminophen and dextromethorphan, but it does not contain doxylamine. Instead, DayQuil contains phenylephrine, a non-drowsy nasal decongestant.

Can you take DayQuil at night? ›

The DayQuil product line includes several medications, such as capsules and liquid products. These can help treat mild to severe symptoms during the day or night. Most people who take DayQuil do not experience serious side effects.

Why does DayQuil make me sleepy? ›

Antihistamines used to treat respiratory symptoms can get into the brain and interrupt this work, making you feel drowsy.

Can I mix DayQuil and ibuprofen together? ›

Advil/ibuprofen is in a different drug class than Tylenol/ibuprofen, so it is fine to combine ibuprofen doses with Dayquil/Nyquil.

Can you combine acetaminophen and alcohol? ›

Mixing acetaminophen and alcohol can potentially lead to liver damage. Rarely, liver damage can be severe or even life-threatening. Moderation is key. You are less likely to get liver damage from mixing the two together if you use acetaminophen as little as possible and avoid drinking more than recommended.

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